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Top Tips for the Best Agent Headshot

crop380w_student_photographer_black_and_whiteThe real estate agent headshot: it’s an absolute necessity in this industry. Your headshot is part of your personal branding, and people expect to see it everywhere—on business cards, your website, public benches and even billboards! Real estate is a face-to-face business, and potential clients want to see yours.

Selecting a real estate headshot can be a terrifying task. Real estate agents are all too frequently teased for having cheesy photos. But how often does someone come along with constructive advice? Not often enough.

Fortunately for you, this helpful list of DO’s and DON’Ts will make your next photo session a breeze:

DO

1. Update your photo. It’s important to keep your headshot current. You want your online prospects to recognize you when you finally meet them.

2. Choose a setting that reflects your brand. If you sell beachfront properties, having a tasteful seaside view in the background will reinforce your area of expertise. High-end residential homes? Try a lush garden location. Or, if al fresco photography isn’t your thing, consider a casual office setting or classic solid backdrop.

3. Wear something you feel comfortable in. Not a suit person? Then don’t wear a suit! Your awkwardness will come through in the photo. On a related note, wear something with sleeves. No one wants to look topless in their agent headshot.

4. Have a cropped version. Cropping allows you to almost completely eliminate any backgrounds or styling choices that may appear dated over time. Cropped photos are also handy to use on social media platforms.

DON’T


5. Use props.
Telephones, sold signs, glasses of wine…we’ve seen it all! Nothing says silly and unprofessional faster than an agent who feels the need to use a prop to catch your eye.

6. Abuse photo-editing tools. Of course we could all use a light touch-up from time to time, but proceed with caution. If you find yourself with a completely new hairline, glowing orange tan or blindingly white teeth, you’ve gone too far.

7. Strike a pose. You are not Madonna, nor are you a thespian. Prospects respond best to approachable headshots that indicate what their experience may be like if they choose to work with you. Select a natural sitting or standing position and act like yourself on your best day.

8. Include your spouse/children/pets… unless you’re some sort of husband and wife team that caters to millionaire tweens and their pampered pooches. Then by all means!

So there you have it: our take on taking really good headshots to use on your agent website and in your real estate marketing.

Keep in mind that there is an exception to every rule. If you have positioned yourself in a niche market, you may find a reason to do every don’t and avoid every do. The most important thing to remember is that your headshot is often your first impression—make it count!

For information on placing YOUR agent headshot in The Real Estate Book for your area, contact your local representative here.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

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Listing Presentations: Leaving a Lasting Impression

shutterstock_75020932 copy

You know that old saying, “You only have one chance to make a first impression”? It could not be truer in the real estate market. With competition in the marketplace being fierce, it’s critical that you make a lasting first impression on prospects.

During a listing presentation, you convey your local market expertise, but you must ensure prospective clients value your opinion above all others. Leaving behind an incredible, comprehensive report can be the difference between getting the listing and losing it to a competitor.

To create an impressive report, here are a few key elements that should be included:

Current and Accurate Information

Clients are not concerned with what the market did a year or two ago, unless it is in comparison to today. They want to know what the market looks like currently, and even where it appears to be headed. The same can be says for school and flood zones; people want to see the boundaries of today, not twelve months ago. And most importantly, this data needs to be accurate. All too often agents unknowingly create reports with incorrect information.

Photos

Everyone likes pictures. Whether of a lush backyard or a remodeled kitchen, people like to see how their property compares in pictures, not just in the number of bedrooms, square footage or lot size.

Easy-to-understand Data

We all know that data can be overwhelming. Percentage of the average list price vs. sales price? This can be too much for some clients to comprehend; yet it paints a picture that is important for them to understand. As with pictures giving a clear representation of the property, charts and graphs can do that with data. Sometimes it just takes a line graph showing an increase for clients to grasp otherwise challenging data.

Your Marketing Plan for Their Home

The number one thing sellers want from an agent is to market their home.* Anyone and everyone will put the home in the MLS and on free listing sites, but showing how you will advertise the home above and beyond that should be part of your listing presentation. A local real estate magazine, a mobile site, a yard sign with a text code, brochures, and mailings – Include these things in your listing presentation and you will win more sellers.

*2014 National Association of REALTORS® 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Seller

Your Own Personal Branding

Ultimately, an effective report is branded to both the agent and the broker. Clients should never have to guess who provided them with such a remarkable report. From an agent photo, to contact information, to a broker logo, proper branding can make the difference between a phone call and the recycle bin.

Now that we know the key elements for an effective report, let’s look at the best way to create one that is inclusive of all the elements. Agents have many options for creating reports: the MLS, a CMA program, Leads Activity Results (LAR), and many more. The key is finding a source that contains each of the elements above. The MLS is a great source for current and accurate listing information, comps and photos. A specialized CMA program gives agents the ability to easily adjust the comps, list price and information like seller’s proceeds. The Leads Activities and Results Dashboard, when advertising with The Real Estate Book, allows REALTORS® to view, track, measure and update the status of generated leads.

Regardless of the platform you choose to create your report, by including providing current, accurate and easy-to-understand data along with pictures and your branding, you more likely to secure your next listing.

Want to learn more about marketing your brand? Go to Store.RealEstateBook.com to contact your local Real Estate Book representative.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

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Outdoor Curb Appeal to Boost Your Home’s Value

by Courtney Soinski

With all the constant information that is thrown at us on a daily basis through social media networking channels like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, it can be difficult to decipher what’s really trending in real estate and outdoor home design. At the end of the day, you want to choose what is right for your home.

When it comes to selling your home, it’s now more important than ever to focus on ways to add value and design appeal to your home’s exterior. An impressive outdoor living space will resonate with home shoppers.

According to Niki Decker, real estate expert and creator of “National Curb Appeal Month”, potential home buyers make a “street decision” in less than 12 seconds on whether or not to view a home that’s for sale. So, it’s easy to understand the importance of curb appeal on making a good first impression.

After researching these trends, here are top ways to boost your home’s value through outdoor curb appeal.

flickr.com

flickr.com

Bright flowers will bring more buyers.

When you have a well kept and maintained lawn that creates sharp contrast with colorful flowers, it’s much more likely that the buyer will want to see what’s inside. As you mow the lawn, remember that keeping grass longer will keep it lush and even helps get those pesky patches filled in.

 

countryliving.com

countryliving.com

It all starts at the front door. 

Your yard isn’t the only thing you should be paying attention to when boosting curb appeal. It’s time to make a statement with your front door. Consider options with decorative glass access and stunning sidelights to add more natural lights while maintaining a sense of style and privacy.

 

designfluff.blogspot.com

designfluff.blogspot.com

Think outside the design box.

For impressive curb appeal, don’t feel like you have to stick to the confines of a square, which used to be very common in designing outdoor spaces. Design outside the box by making improvements such as a deck with multiple levels or even curves, pergolas, cantilevers, or anything that will create three-dimensional interest in your yard.

findinghomeonline.com

findinghomeonline.com

Bring the indoors out.

In recent years, more and more homeowners are breaking the barriers between the interior and exterior of their home. This includes the addition of new features and trends such as outdoor kitchens, dining nooks and railing with decorative balusters that are similar to what you would find inside the house.

 

domainehome.com

domainehome.com

Add pops of color with plants.

A great way to catch the eyes of new home buyers is by using plants to frame the front door or incorporating them on the front patio. Also, don’t be afraid to use all sorts of colors and sizes, as this will add visual interest. You can even go a step further by planting flowerbeds along driveways and walkways, giving buyers a softer, more inviting feel.

Whether you’re a home buyer or seller, everyone wants a house that looks great from the curb. Follow these tips to enhance your home’s appearance for a quick sell!

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